Ahsan Iqbal says country is facing ‘a massive climatic disaster’ n Asks international community to ‘help Pakistan in this hour of need’n Major General Babar Iftikhar says Armed Forces will not leave people alone in this difficult time n Army flood relief fund receives Rs417m n Peoples trust is the asset of Pakistan Army: DG ISPR n Calamity has so far killed 1265 people and injured more than 1200: NDMA

n Foreign Office says 30 flights with relief goods from friendly countries arrived in Pakistan so far.

 

ISLAMABAD    -   Federal Minister for Planning and Develop­ment Ahsan Iqbal Sat­urday said that the gov­ernment will leave no stone unturned to bring normalcy back in the lives of flood affected people of the country.

While briefing media persons at the Nation­al Flood Response and Coordination Centre, he also made a fervent ap­peal to the internation­al community, coun­trymen and expatriate Pakistanis to help Paki­stan in this hour of need. 

The minister said that the country did not have the resourc­es to deal with the un­precedented crisis. The flooding is the worst climate-induced disas­ter in recent world his­tory, he said.

Ahsan Iqbal said Paki­stan is facing a massive climatic disaster and human tragedy, which is an outcome of envi­ronmental degradation. He pointed out that Pa­kistan’s carbon emis­sions are less than one percent but it is the sev­enth most vulnerable country for climatic di­saster. He said the scale of devastation warrants a major humanitari­an response for thir­ty-three million people affected by the floods.

He said the govern­ment or any institution cannot single handed­ly overcome this trag­edy. He said the en­tire nation will have to get united to steer the country out of this chal­lenge. Ahsan Iqbal also briefed the media about the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure of roads, power and telecommunication.

‘HEAVY DEMAND OF TENTS’

While giving the latest up­dates, Chairman NDMA Lieu­tenant General Akhtar Nawaz said the calamity has so far killed 1265 people and injured more than 1200.

He said rescue and relief op­eration is continuing in flood affected areas. He said we have provided four hundred and twenty thousand tents and keeping in view the heavy de­mand of tents, an effort has been made to build the capacity of tent manufacturing. He said fifty-seven thousand and four hundred food packages have been distributed amongst the flood victims.

The Chairman NDMA said there has been a good interna­tional response to the UN flash appeal for the assistance of flood affected people. He said twenty-nine relief goods flights have been received over the last four days. These included ten from Turkey, eleven from the UAE, four from China, two from Qatar and one each from Uzbekistan and France. He said these flights carried goods such as 2728 tents, ninety-eight tons food packages, fifty boats and fifty-six tons medicines.

Briefing the media about the rescue and relief activities be­ing carried by the armed forc­es, Director General ISPR Ma­jor General Babar Iftikhar said they are engaged in the rescue and relief efforts over the last two months. He said, during this period, we have rescued the people and also provided them with relief items. He said Paki­stan Army has established one hundred and forty-seven relief camps wherein relief has been provided to fifty thousand flood victims. He said eighty-three thousand victims have been provided with free medical treatment in the two hundred and fifty medical camps.

Director General Inter Ser­vices Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Babar If­tikhar Saturday said the na­tion was generously contrib­uting to the Army Flood Relief Fund as Rs417 million were col­lected in the fund so far for the flood victims while Rs44 mil­lion were collected during the past 24 hours. Addressing a joint media briefing flanked by the Federal Minister for plan­ning Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Chair­man NDMA Lieutenant Gener­al Akhtar Nawaz and National Coordinator National Flood Re­sponse and Coordination Centre (NFRCC), the ISPR DG briefed the media on the Relief and Res­cue Activities of the Pakistan Army in the flood affected areas.

‘A SACRED OBLIGATION’

Major General Babar Iftikhar said since the beginning of the crisis caused by the recent mon­soon rains, the Armed Forces were working day and night in the affected areas for the last 2 months to help their brothers and sisters.

“Every soldier and officer of the Pakistan Army is trying to reduce the problems of the peo­ple by considering it as a sacred obligation rather than a duty,” he said. He continued, “This was the spirit under which Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali, Major General Amjad Hanif, Brigadier Muhammad Khalid, Major Saeed Ahmed, Major Mu­hammad Talha Manan and Naik Mudassar Fayyaz helped their flood-affected brothers and sis­ters in Lasbela (Winder) area of Balochistan last month and em­braced martyrdom in a helicop­ter accident during the relief activities.”

In the Corps Commanders’ Conference held in July and August, it was also resolved to provide all possible help to the flood victims and the Army Chief gave special instructions in this regard, he told the media.

According to the Army Chief’s instructions, he said the Armed Forces would not leave the peo­ple alone in this difficult time, “no matter how much time and effort it takes”.

At the Army level, he informed that the Army Flood Relief Coor­dination Centre was established under the leadership of Com­mander Army Air Defence Com­mand who was also performing the duties of National Coordina­tor of National Flood Response and Coordination Centre.

“Under the RRR Strategy i.e. Relief, Rescue & Rehabilitation, Pakistan Army is serving under a comprehensive strategy along with Civil Administration, Di­saster Management Authority and other welfare institutions.”

Major General Babar said the Army Chief had made detailed visits to the flood-affected areas of Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab and reviewed the ongoing relief operations on ground.

However, all formations and senior commanders of Pakistan Army were present in the flood affected areas and were engaged in relief operations, he add­ed. The helicopters of Pakistan Army Aviation were continu­ously engaged in rescue & relief activities in the affected areas, he said, adding, “So far 276 he­licopter sorties have been oper­ated in different areas. Despite the bad weather and other chal­lenges, pilots of Pakistan Army Aviation risked their lives not only to rescue people but also ensured the availability of es­sential relief items to them.”

In Kumrat and Kalam, he said the people who were stuck in different areas due to floods were immediately contacted and shifted to safe places by the Pakistan Army.

He underlined that the masses of disaster prone areas in case of any emergency, should con­tact KP helpline 1125 while for other provinces Army helpline 1135 can be contacted.

At present, he said there were 147 relief camps of Paki­stan Army across the country in which relief was being pro­vided to more than 50,000 vic­tims, while 250 medical camps in which army doctors, nursing and paramedics staff provided free medical assistance to more than 83,000 patients so far.

“Apart from this, addition­al army medical and engineers’ resources have also been sent to Sindh. Army has distribut­ed 3-day ration to the flood vic­tims, which is about 1,685 tons, 25,000 Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) and a large number of 8 and 4 people tents have also been dis­tributed among the flood affect­ed families.”

Moreover, 284 Flood Relief Collection Points were estab­lished across the country. In these Relief Collection Points, 2,294 tonnes of ration, over 311 tonnes of basic necessities of life and over 1.07 million med­icines were deposited by the people of Pakistan, he added. 

So far 1,793 tonnes of ration and 277 tonnes of other neces­sities were distributed among the flood victims, besides this 770,000 medicines were also provided to the flood victims, he mentioned.

The ISPR DG added that along with this, the relief teams of Pa­kistan Air Force and Navy were also playing an active role in Rescue & Relief Activities across the country.

“Aerial Efforts of Pakistan Air Force are also worth men­tioning in which C130 and he­licopters rescued more than 1,521 people during 135 sor­ties. 41 relief camps of PAF are helping people and more than 16,000 patients have been pro­vided medical assistance in 35 free medical camps. Apart from this, a large number of rations and tents have also been dis­tributed.” He added that Pa­kistan Navy’s Emergency Re­sponse Teams and Diving Teams were busy helping flood victims across the country. So far, more than 55,000 food packages were distributed, including 650 tonnes of rations and more than 1,080 tents.

“Along with this, 19 medical campuses are providing free medical assistance to more than 18,000 patients so far. Paki­stan Navy has rescued around 10,000 victims so far.”

The people from all over the country generously help their affected brothers and sisters through their contributions in Army Relief Fund, he said, add­ing, “In view of this sentiment, all the General Officers of the Army have contributed their one month salary to the emer­gency fund established to help the flood victims. Apart from this, other officers and jawans are also actively participating in this fund voluntarily.”

He further mentioned that the leadership of the friendly coun­tries is also in constant con­tact with the Army Chief so that steps could be taken to help the flood affected masses. He also informed that in view of the cur­rent situation, Pakistan Army had postponed the main De­fence Day ceremony to show solidarity with the flood victims